When it comes to establishing paternity, the issue could be a lot more complicated than just a DNA test. For example, witnesses might be called to testify on your behalf or against you in court relating to your parenting abilities. Other issues that could be addressed in a paternity suit — because they could affect a father’s success in establishing paternity — relate to a father’s criminal background.
Here are a few things courts may look at in the biological father’s background:
— A history of assault: Courts will be much less likely to award custodial rights to a father who has been convicted of assault and other violence in the past. In these situations, courts may be interested in protecting the children from a particularly violent father.
— A history of domestic violence: Courts will be less likely to award custodial or paternal rights to a biological father who has been convicted of domestic violence in the past. Again, courts will want to protect the children from someone with a predilection for violence.
— Violation of a protection order: Sometimes one spouse will request a protection order on the other spouse. This would prevent the spouse from visiting or being in contact with the other spouse. Spouses who violate a protection order, could be in danger of losing their parental rights.
— DUI: A history of driving under the influence might indicate a biological father’s potential unsuitability as a parent. Courts may wish to protect the child from getting hurt in a drunk driving accident.
Nebraska fathers wanting to establish paternity and obtain custody rights for their children will want to review their criminal histories to determine if anything from their past could make it difficult to obtain child custody rights. At the Law Office of James A. Adams, we have represented numerous Nebraska fathers with criminal records in their efforts to establish paternity.